For Rallycross Superprix Honours
The country's biggest Rallycross meeting for over a decade takes place this forthcoming weekend (October 25/26th) when the Get Connected! SG Petch Rallycross Superprix roars into action at Croft Circuit, North Yorkshire.
Featuring some of the very best drivers from Europe taking on their British and Irish counterparts, it will be the only time that British fans will see the cream of Europe's drivers in action in their various cars and with a number of added attractions, it certainly is not one to be missed.
Defending Superprix Champion and 13-times European Champion, Kenneth Hansen, along with Finland's former World Rally Champion Marcus Gronholm were planning on entering, but sadly neither has come to fruition but there is still a strong Scandinavian challenge to take it to the British Isles drivers.
Stein Egil Jenssen will return to Croft for another assault on the Rallycross Superprix title, this time at the wheel of the ex Guttorm Lindefjell Ford Focus in the Division 1 category. The Norwegian will be joined by front-running driver from Finland, Silvo Viitanen, at the wheel of his Ford Focus. Viitanen finished fourth overall in the 2008 Finnish Rallycross Championship, recording three podium finishes and is making his Croft debut.
Polish drivers Witek Starobart (Ford Focus) and Lukasz Kabacinski (Subaru Impreza) will also be in action in the record-breaking entry which comprises 115 cars in total, with 21 in the Division 1 class. Irishmen Ollie O'Donovan (Peugeot 306) and Christopher Evans (Opel Astra) add to the international flavour and both could well be in with a shout of landing the prestigious title on Sunday afternoon.
Heading the home challenge will be any number of drivers including 2008 Rallycross Open Champion 'Mad' Mark Watson from nearby Barnard Castle in his Citroen Xsara. He'll be up against regular ROC front-runners Mike Manning (Ford Puma) and Tony Bell (Toyota Corolla) as well as a strong Mitsubishi challenge in the shape of Steve Hill and Tynesider David Binks.Throw in the various Fords of Andy Grant, Derrick Jobb, Chris Langley, Bob Gooding and Steve Mundy, along with the Subaru Imprezas of Kevin McCann and Simon Horton and it's anyone's race but perhaps three dark horses come in the shape of local drivers out predominantly in unfamiliar cars in the Division 1 class.
Newcastle's Brian Jukes will debut his new four-wheel drive turbocharged Audi TT and Scotch Corner preparation expert Tony Bardy is scheduled to drive a Citroen C4 on his annual sortie but it could well be Leeming Bar's Kevin Procter who emerges victorious in his recently-acquired ex Jos Kuypers Ford Focus which he took to victory in the recent British Championship round at Pembrey on his debut.
Norwegian Super National competitor, Ola Froshaug, will return to try and win the title that he was denied last season, when mechanical failure ended his event while leading the final in his Volvo S40. However, with the likes of local hero Dave Bellerby (Lotus Exige), Jamie Bird (Renault Clio V6) and Ben Power (Ford Ka Sport), as well as Belgian Davy Leyson (BMW), Ulsterman Don Shannon (Volvo S40) and the Audi TT of Michael Boak, the two-wheel drive class is ultra-competitive also.
After finishing fourth overall in the 2008 European Rallycross Championship, recording his first European Rallycross win along the way, Irishman Derek Tohill has confirmed his entry at the wheel of his Honda Civic Type R in the Procar 2000 class. He'll be up against Poland's Jakub Dzicek (Renault Clio) and Belgian driver Jef Mertens (Opel Astra) but Brits Stuart Emery (Peugeot 306), Ashley Simpson (Renault Megane) and Tony Lynch (Peugeot 205) will have something to say about the result.Dutchman Willem Veltman (Citroen C2) goes head to head with Belgium's Philip Rombouts (Citroen Saxon) in the Division 1A class, as do Brits Hal Ridge (Renault Clio), Joe Cunningham (Peugeot 106) and Tina Scott (Citroen C2) and with full grids in the Procar 1600, Edwards Bros Minicross, Chris Birkbeck Juniors and Revivals classes, the action will be as fast as it is plentiful.
The highlight in the RX150 Racing Superprix Challenge is the battle between world championship rally drivers, Guy Wilks and Kris Meeke as they take on Ollie O'Donovan as the 'buggies' take to the track throughout the course of an action-packed weekend.
Most of the competitors will also race in the final round of the 2008 Rallycross Open Championship which takes place on the Saturday of the event, which also sees the opening heats for the Rallycross Superprix, in preparation for Sunday's action which is set to once again attract a bumper crowd.
To add to the spectacle, top British Championship rally drivers and event sponsors Damian Cole and Steve Petch will demonstrate their Hyundai Accent World Rally Cars as will Rallycross competitor Kevin Procter in his Subaru WRC.
The action commences at 9.30am on Saturday before the first heats at 11.00am and on Sunday, the first action takes place from 9.30am, the pit lane walk is at 11.00am and racing from 12.00 noon.
Ticket prices for the event are as follows: Saturday - £8, Sunday - £13, Weekend - £20, Grandstand (Sunday only) - £5. Prices are per adult and accompanied children 15 or under are admitted FREE. More information available from Claire Jones at Croft Circuit on 01325 721815 or croftcircuit.co.uk whereby advance tickets are only available until Wednesday 22nd October.
* The 2008 Get Connected! SG Petch Rallycross Superprix Party takes place at Darlington Football Club on Saturday October 25th. The party will get underway at 7.30pm with the ticket price including some fine English cuisine in the shape of a carvery and dessert. The official presentation for the final round of the 2008 Rallycross Open Championship will take place also. Return transport by coach to Darlington Football Club from Croft Circuit is provided and tickets are priced at £12 per person. All tickets must be purchased in advance and can be obtained by returning the application form, which can be found on the official website. Tickets can be purchased up until Wednesday October 22nd 2008.
Picture attached (courtesy of Ian Hardy) 2008 Rallycross Open Champion 'Mad' Mark Watson (Citroen Xsara) will be one of twenty-one, Division 1, 500bhp Supercars in action at Croft's Rallycross Superprix.